New Zealand Labour Party

Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell

John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

In a pre-Budget speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce today, Grant Robertson said too many New Zealanders feel they are missing out on the recovery.

“John Key’s Parnell locals are doing well but the people of Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North need a Prime Minister who backs them just as much as his own neighbours.

“Auckland needs to be supported as our only truly competitive city but if we fail to invest in the regions we won’t have the sustainable, balanced economy we need.

“Instead of standing alongside Otago, for instance, the Government is gutting it. Refusing to support the Hillside workshops and – instead of supporting innovation – pulling out AgResearch’s Invermay base.

“Kiwis in the regions are locked out of opportunities and out of homeownership. Not only are jobs hard to come by but a family buying a house in Dunedin is paying interest rates higher than they would be if the Reserve Bank wasn’t forced put a lid on Auckland’s housing market.

“We need a Budget that focusses on people so that every New Zealander, regardless of where they live or whatever their circumstance, can experience success.

“In next week’s Budget Kiwis want to see a plan to diversify our economy, support and boost exports, grow our regions, build affordable housing and invest wisely in our education, innovation and infrastructure.

“John Key wants a legacy. It must be one that stretches beyond the streets of Parnell,” Grant Robertson says.